Tag: all people’s church

WORLD MANDATE Sunday // Becoming a One Thing Person

This morning All Peoples Church Pastor Robert Herber shared a message on laying everything at the feet of Jesus. We aren’t called to compete or to be perfect, we are called to give whatever we have. When we live a life of abandoned worship, we bring the presence of heaven everywhere we go.

CHECK OUT SOME OF OUR TAKEAWAYS FROM ROBERT’S MESSAGE:

  • We should never get comfortable in our Christian lives.
  • We all need a hero. We all need someone to model our lives after.
  • In the midst of wanting to do something for God, we can get distracted from the very One we came to serve.
  • All of our doing has to come out of our being.
  • It’s amazing how God meets with you when you go on mission with Him.
  • The brokenness of one will lead to the blessing of many.
  • Don’t ever underestimate your act of fully abandoned worship.
  • When you pour out your life, your sphere is filled with the fragrance of heaven.
  • Just because you pour out your life on Jesus doesn’t mean everyone is going to be happy about it.
  • God isn’t asking you to compete with other people, He’s asking you, “Did you do what you could?”
  • The only fitting response to the Gospel is to say, “Jesus, I’ll give you everything.”
  • Your true calling is knowing Jesus.

By Robert Herber – All Peoples Church Lead Pastor

Why Cities Matter

On a recent flight from Beijing to Bangkok, I began to ponder why cities get me really excited. I’m probably not the type of person who is typically pegged as a city-lover. I grew up on a ranch with cows. I spent time fishing in my own pond and wandering along the large creek that flowed on the border of our property.

Even now, I am in no way the quintessential urban dweller as I love to tell people about my bird dog, my seven chickens, and my two alpacas. But the truth is, my life is inextricably tied to a world class city. So what is it about a city that captivates me and in fact, has solicited my life’s work and obsessive devotion?

SIX REASONS WHY CITIES MATTER

1. Cities are where people are. People matter most and God is most interested in people. They are His children. Obviously people are everywhere, but they are found in their most concentrated masses in cities.

2. Cities are the epicenter of culture. Culture flows from the heart of the city out into the suburbs and then out into the countryside.

3. Cities are creating a one-world youth culture. There are more similarities between a college student in Boston and Ulanbaatar, Mongolia then there are between a Massachusetts farmer and the same Bostonian student. This creates an opportunity of epic proportions for student and young people ministry throughout the world. US college students can travel to any world-class city, find a college campus and immediately befriend people from different nations who are ethnically dissimilar but culturally related.

4. Cities are rapidly growing. In their book Why Cities MatterUm and Buzzard write that in the course of 300 years, the world will have shifted from one in which only 3% of people live in cities to one in which 80% of people are residents of urban areas.

5. Cities are where the young people want to be.

6. Cities are where the diversity is. The poor, the refugee and the ethnic minorities all come to the cities for acceptance, in hopes of making a better life for themselves.

As a pastor and church-planter, I am watching the power of a new phenomena. New brave leaders are planting city churches, not following the urban-sprawl of the suburbs, but pressing in to the heart of the urban core. Don’t get me wrong, I love all types of churches: suburb churches, town churches, regional churches. My point is not to denigrate another church. My point is cities are where the most people are, and God’s heart is for people.

A study of the book of Acts will clearly point to the fact that it is a book about the spread of Christianity through major cities. Following Paul’s journey through the ancient world, it is obvious that his strategy was to penetrate the great cities of the Roman Empire with the Gospel.

As church-planters consistently herald our desire to be true to the New Testament in our strategy and methodology, it only stands to reason then that we should, like Paul, focus our efforts on city centers.

As we have entered the era where the world is shaped by the city, it is time for the era in which the Church determines, by the power and love of the Spirit, to shape the city!

By Robert Herber, Senior Pastor at All People’s Church in San Diego, CA

Read other posts by Robert Herber on his blog.

Summer Update – A Letter from Jimmy

“Do not say, yet four months and then comes the harvest. Behold, the harvest is now” (John 4:35).

It’s been a great few weeks of travel around the movement, getting to see God at work and calling us to believe Him for even more. I want to take you through my travels, give you insight into them and let you know we are all a part of something bigger than ourselves.

Tijuana, Mexico – I had the privilege of speaking to three of our  Antioch churches from Fort Collins, Ann Arbor and Wheaton, as they had gathered for their family mission trips in Tijuana. You would think when three different churches come together, it would be something like distant cousins at a family reunion. But it seemed like one church meeting together, and because of their common values and heart for Jesus it felt like home. We also had the privilege of going out to parks to preach the Gospel and see people encounter the power and presence of God. These are the things we not only love to do, but these are the things we signed up for. These are the things that make us Antioch.

L: Games are played with the residents of Tijuana, R: Students share the Gospel in Tijuana

L: A carnival held to meet new people. R: Sharing the Gospel with people on the beach in Tijuana

Next stop was San Diego, California. We had a board meeting with our San Diego church plant, All People’s Church, which is now five years old. They are continuing to see a harvest, with people being saved each week and the church being established and strengthened in God. Their training school is growing. They are sending out both short and long term workers around the world. More than anything, it’s always a joy to be with friends and to realize once again that Antioch is not only built on a common mission, but on committed relationships.

SE Asia – Antioch Waco had 52 students from our youth group and 18 adults in SE Asia on a short-term mission trip. These students had a life-changing experience encountering God personally, working together as a team practically, hearing the Gospel preached and seeing the sick healed. I am so proud of our youth pastors, Blake and Leigh Foster, and their team.

L: Youth in a school in India, R: Students traveling together by bus in the city

The reason Laura and I were in SE Asia was to be a part of our international strategy team meetings. This group serves our movement and our international work. They were great days of re-clarifying what God has called us to do and making the necessary adjustments so we can see Matthew 24:14 fulfilled in our lifetime.

The youth team with their leaders, Blake and Leigh Foster

I am so encouraged by the leadership of Jonathan, our Field Director, and his wife Nicole. They continue to lead with tremendous wisdom and compassion. I came out of those meetings realizing once again that we have the best possible team in the world to lead and oversee our people around the world. I could not be more encouraged as we look forward as a movement to impacting the world.

I wanted to update you on a few of my travels, and let you know a little bit of what’s going on so you know we are all a part of something bigger than ourselves.

I want to leave you again with a promise God spoke to us 23 years ago:

“Enlarge the place of your tent; stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not; lengthen your cords and strengthen your pegs. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left. And your descendants will possess nations And will resettle the desolate cities” (Isaiah 54:2-3).

In His strength and love,

Jimmy

Three Temptations Every Leader Faces

Recently, I spent the evening with two brothers who shared incredible stories of what God did in the Jesus Movement of the 70′s and 80′s. After eating fish tacos on a restaurant patio on one of those perfect Southern California nights and enjoying some great conversation we went for a walk. Our dialogue turned to how leaders in the Jesus Movement had fallen into sin. At that moment one of the brothers looked at me and said, “You know, we have to keep that humble attitude of ‘There go I, but by the grace of God.”

Just a few weeks ago, our country learned of yet another one of our most influential pastors stepping down due to moral failure.  When I learned this my heart sank. Yet another pastor I have deeply respected in the news for a moral failure.

I know enough from years of being a pastor to realize ministry leaders are all just normal humans. I also know the more high profile and more influence a leader has in the Body of Christ, the greater the attack the enemy sends against that person. Certainly these men and women who fall are not evil charlatans or fakes; they are people the enemy set a trap for, and unfortunately they fell right into it.

I have been fortunate to have a mentor who has continually warned us younger men what to watch for. He said the three temptations that bring down a minister are gold, girls and glory. Personally I have found the enemy cyclically throws out bait to lure me into sin in each of these areas. So let me share a few tactics I have learned for combatting these temptations.

The Gold Temptation

Obviously gold is synonymous with money. For me, the greatest temptation comes when I begin to look around at what others have instead of being thankful for what God has given me. I love the Proverbs, and one of the most helpful ammunitions for me in fighting the desire for more things has always been working closely with the poor and spending time in impoverished nations. This seems to put things in perspective. For more on this topic, read a letter John Piper recently wrote to pastors concerning the love of money.

The Girl Temptation

I believe there are three essentials in remaining pure as a pastor who is constantly ministering before a congregation that is at least half women. First, am I continually cultivating the romance in my own marriage. Speaking of sexual temptation, the Bible says, “For this reason each man should have his own wife” (1 Corinthians 7:2). For me, it is imperative that I not only walk in unity with my wife, but that I am also proactive in creating environments where we truly enjoy each other; an afternoon walk, a romantic movie, an hour gardening, a quick lunch where we steal away and obviously maintaining a healthy rhythm of marital intimacy. Second, I remain in close accountability. I always have people who know exactly where I am, what I’m doing, and who I’m with. Finally, I just do not put myself in situations where I am alone with women who aren’t my wife. Even when work requires me to have a meeting with a woman. my M.O. is to have another person present.

The Glory Temptation

Our church staff has an agreed upon a relational DNA. These are five core values we have committed to live by. Two of these values are especially helpful at keeping me from living a lifestyle in which I seek to bring glory to myself. The first is our commitment to being open and vulnerable. I am in weekly accountability times with the other pastors on my staff where I share my weaknesses and short comings. Through these times I am humbled, and reminded of my own brokenness and need for God. The other value is healthy conflict. It is hard to be proud and put yourself on a pedestal when people are consistently confronting you and pointing out things you have done that have been challenging to them. My mentor would always say it this way; “If you want to stay humble, then keep yourself tethered to the local church.” At the end of the day I have to remember this is all about His glory and the last thing I want to do is try to steal some of that glory for myself.

I certainly don’t claim to be the expert at avoiding temptation. I am only 16 years into ministry and probably have a good 40 to go. There will be many tests to pass in my life before I will be able to say, “I have run the race, I have fought the good fight.” But I do believe that knowing the enemy’s tactics are one of the best ways to win the battle!

In Response

  • Which of these three temptations have you faced in leadership, whether it be at work, in ministry or in leading your family?
  • What can you implement this week to combat that temptation?

By Robert Herber, Senior Pastor at All People’s Church in San Diego, CA

Read other posts by Robert Herber on his blog.

Interview with the Gulley Brothers

One week from today, the new album from AntiochLIVE, Our God Comes, will be released at World Mandate and on iTunes. We sat down with the brains behind the AntiochLIVE machine, brothers James Mark and Stephen Gulley. (Stephen virtually joined us from San Diego!)

Do you guys have a favorite song from the album?

JMG: Wow, that’s like trying to pick a favorite child. Light me Up is a really fun song to sing. It is the heart of World Mandate. And I think I Will Raise just blows up every time.

SG: Yea, it feels like picking a favorite kid for me too! God and King – I think that with where we are in the songwriting journey, it feels more and more like we can write the songs and sounds that God is writing for this movement. More and more I just want God to get the glory, and that’s the point of these songs. There has just been something lit up in my heart about spreading God’s glory across the earth. And it’s really cool to have One Hundred Three come back in a fresh way 10 years later.

What are you guys listening to right now?

SG: I’m listening a lot to Passion, Let the Future Begin, and specifically the song, Whom Shall I Fear.

JMG: I’ve been listening to the new Hillsong Live album, Glorious Ruins. Stephen and I were able to travel to Hillsong Sydney in 2011. Now it’s like every time they release an album I feel like, “Great job you guys!” I learn from them, and they really just lead us all.

What is the worst song you’ve written, a song you maybe wish you never wrote?

JMG: That’s like asking me who my worst child is… just kidding.

SG: There’s not one that’s been recorded that I hate because we live in community, and we often have people say, “Uhhhh, I don’t know if that one’s going to work.”

JMG: For me it’s probably when I wrote so many songs between the ages of 15 and 18 that nobody ever heard. The things that I feel worst about are things I now know as an experienced songwriter that you never do, but that’s what I did, and people liked the songs then.

Do you guys have any pre-songwriting rituals? Or anything where you feel, “When I’m songwriting, it has to be like this…?”

Both laugh.

SG: I instagramed a picture one time captioned “songwriting essentials.”  It was us two at a coffee shop, with our warm drinks, only James Mark has his guitar, and we both have Evernote open and some apple device we’re using. Maybe the warm drink is the ritual, but it’s pretty much like that every time.

JMG: Yea it’s pretty much like that. Our ritual really is to connect before we write because that’s who we are as people. We’re both too relational. And maybe it would be better if only one of us was like that so we could get stuff done more quickly, but we’re both like that. We care really deeply about what is going on in each other’s life.

Tell us more about the new album.

JMG: The songs are all a declaration of who God is. We live in a place of greater faith, knowing what God wants to do, so we don’t have to say, “God, will you please come and do this.” Our God Comes declares we know He will not keep silent and that we will see the goodness of God in the land of the living. Not just positive thinking but statements of faith. This is just who He is.

SG: We are calling out, “Our God, come,” not because we are a dry people who didn’t receive, but because we are a people that know He is faithful, that He will always come. Whether to a service or into the life of a family member who is in a broken place or to that friend who has never known the love they have always wanted, our God comes.

As worship leaders, what is World Mandate like for you?

JMG: It’s cool because we get to sing the values of who we are and who God has called us to be. Our desire is to live World Mandate. You know, you can go to World Mandate West or World Mandate East, but the message is always that Jesus has come to set us free, we’ve got to tell the person next door and we’ve got to go the other side of the world. Jimmy sometimes says, “On some level I don’t like Christmas because people only celebrate that Jesus came to save the world for one day. And that should be everyday life – it’s just life to the full!”

This incredible album will be released next Friday, September 20th, at World Mandate and on iTunes. If you haven’t purchased your ticket to World Mandate, it’s not too late! Head on over to worldmandate.com to purchase your ticket now!